Human Development

The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Synthesis > novelty in a big new UN report.

admin - March 22, 2013

Of the big reports that spew forth from the multilateral system, some break new ground in terms of research or narratives, while others usefully recap the latest thinking on a given issue. Last week’s 2013 Human Development Report, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, falls into the latter category, pulling together the evidence for a tectonic North-South shift in global …

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Arab Spring v Muslim Tigers: what’s the connection between human development and revolution?

admin - January 30, 2013

Just before the Arab Spring kicked off in early 2011, I was happily linking to some really interesting work by Dani Rodrik (one of my development heroes) on ‘muslim tigers’, pointing out that in terms of human development, the top 10 performers since 1970 were not the usual suspects (East Asia, Nordics) but Muslim countries – Oman, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria all …

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How important is growth to improvements in health and education? Not at all, says a new UN paper

admin - June 25, 2010

The first batch of background papers to this year’s big Human Development Report has just been published. The one that caught my eye is by George Gray Molina and Mark Purser. “Human Development Trends since 1970: A Social Convergence Story” crunches a big dataset of Human Development Indicator (HDI) numbers and comes up with some pretty heretical conclusions. It finds that that the links between …

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Want to help write this year's Human Development Report?

admin - January 13, 2010

2010 marks two decades years since the first Human Development Report was published by the UN Development Program in 1990. Besides subsequently spawning huge numbers of useful national and thematic reports, the global HDRs have become some of the most influential of annual development analyses, for many years providing an invaluable intellectual counterweight to some of the excesses and errors of the Washington Consensus, which …

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Measuring wellbeing – the latest from UN and OECD. But can Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Jamaica really be the world's happiest countries?!

admin - August 11, 2009

The criticisms of GDP as a pretty unreliable measure of well-being have been around for decades, but policy makers persist in using it as a proxy for success, in part because of the lack of credible alternatives. Now there’s an encouraging flurry of international activity at both the UN and OECD that seeks to fill the gap. In October the OECD’s ‘Measuring the Progress of …

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